We’re three weeks into this open-ended travel life. How’s it going?
I wish I could tell you we are “living the dream!” Not yet. Hopefully soon!
What I do know so far:
- I love the simplicity the small space our 30-foot travel trailer provides. Specifically, I love having so little stuff; in fact, we have donated more while on the road.
- Going out to eat is a budget buster; we need to get out of vacation mode.
- Having the option to change our scenery is liberating.
- My mind is beginning to calm. “Camping time” is slow time; people are really relaxed.
- So far, the boys’ bikes are the best thing we’ve packed.
- The dog is happy. Really happy.
Since vacating our sticks-n-bricks home, we’ve rolled into three different places:
Week 1: We stayed at a KOA only 15 miles from our former rental home. It was a convenient place to stay for last-minute medical and orthodontist appointments, to work out bugs with the trailer, and to spend time with friends and family. The Fourth of July also fell during the week and the boys really wanted to spend the holiday in our old neighborhood (our original ‘hood where we sold our home in 2013).
Although expensive ($67/night) and crowded, the KOA proved to be a good spot for the week. Some highlights include:
- Zombie Tag (it’s a thing) was played with new friends until campground curfew at night. It was great to see how easily a bunch of kids of various ages can become quick friends, be active, and entertain themselves.
- Our first overnight guest – a friend from the old ‘hood. His first impression of the trailer was, and I quote, “nicer than I expected.” Not sure what to make of that but we’ll take it.
- Critical work was done on our truck/trailer hitch. After taking the fully loaded trailer to the truck scales, it became clear that our weight-distribution hitch was not living up to its name. After some adjustment by the experts (read: not the dealer), all is good. Worth the investment.
- Waiting for the hitch work forced us gave us the opportunity to see a town we’d lived near for years but never explored. Spent some time in the local library and a nice downtown park we never knew existed. Pretty cool.
Week 2: Our first “long” drive was to Seaside, OR, a new place to us and the 180-mile drive provided a nice way to try out our newly adjusted hitch. Best of all, a campground membership allowed us to stay for $11/night. We were only in Seaside for four nights, but this provided a good amount of time to discover the area, including:
- Connecting with family at Cape Disappointment, WA, and with friends in Cannon Beach, OR.
- Learning at the Lewis & Clark National Historic Park – it was Seamen’s Day! Seamen was the Corps of Discovery’s Newfoundland dog. They had sample dogs on site for “educational” purposes, but it was really just an excuse to talk about how cute the dogs are.
- Being active! We covered 10+ miles every day there by walking to the beach and hiking.
- Learning that Jack the Boxer loves the beach and becomes an even bigger goofball when he hits the sand.
- Feeling like we were starting to relax.
Week 3: Back near our “hometown” to house-sit for friends while they are on their own epic road trip. Their home is so lovely – with an expansive yard backing to a creek. It’s been a nice place to rest and take inventory of what we have going on: finish up appointments, (theoretically) catch up on budget, and continue to say au revoir to local friends and family. Some revelations this week:
- I don’t miss living in a house. Although I imagine we will settle again at some point, somewhere, I’m not ready yet!
- I feel overwhelmed by stuff and it’s not even mine! It took about two years of consistent purging – selling, donating, throwing away, and re-homing – to get rid of ~95% of our possessions. I think that process is still too fresh in our minds.
- I’m really going to miss our friends and family.
Next week we go to our “home” RV park in Washington and, now that most of the loose ends have been wrapped up, start to establish our new routine on the road. We’ll have a couple of weeks there before heading east and fully embracing the open road and, hopefully, relatively stable internet. Until our next blog post, you can follow us on Facebook for regular updates and, if you have not already done so, enjoy the video of Jack’s Beach Day. He’s always good for a smile!